The San Marcos City Council held its second public hearing of the month July 18 to confirm the new city manager, discuss the nepotism clause in the city charter and the impact of short-term rentals in the community.
- Bert Lumbreras confirmed for new city manager
The city council unanimously voted in favor of Lumbreras, Texas State alumnus, who has 35 years of local government experience. The decision comes after a deliberation among council members last weekend. Lumbreras’ first appearance as the city manager will be Aug. 15.
- Nepotism Clause is revised in City Charter
The City Charter acts as a guide for how the city should be run. The nepotism clause is what prevents city officials or employees from practicing favoritism among friends, business partners and family members, especially for public service positions.
The language in the clause was updated yesterday evening to include the prohibition of consulting, development and construction services that would be in the financial interest of the city council, city employees or friends and family of city officials. Councilwoman Melissa Derrick also advocated for a reformed system of reprimand for board members who violate the Charter. The council will revise the Charter in upcoming meetings.
- Implementation of short term rental regulations
Short term rentals or home share rentals, are residences that serve as a home for local citizens. Properties are rented on occasion when the home owner is away on vacation or if an owner wants to rent out only a private bedroom within their residence.
Multiple citizens attended the public portion to speak with the council on the issue. Most homeowners spoke on the positive influence short term rentals have on the local community as well as the financial benefit the home owner gains as a way to help pay increasing property taxes. Others opposed to STRs claimed that they would attract obnoxious parties on weekends that bring in large crowds, like athletic events or festivals.
Regulations for these STRs would prohibit the primary use of a residence as a short-term rental, but would allow registered home owners to rent out a portion of their home while they are present or the entirety of their home while they are on temporary vacation. The council wants the primary purpose of these homes to be used as a long-term residence, whether for the home owner or a long-term lessee.
The city council unanimously agreed to add language to the ordinance for no parties and events in San Marcos short term rental properties. Additional measures will also likely be considered in upcoming council meetings.
For more information and to view last night’s meeting, visit the city website.